Protecting ourselves, our personal data, and our businesses from cyber-attacks, third-party providers, and a slew of other surveillance agencies we aren’t even aware of. The internet appears to be about communication, entertainment, banking transactions, and shopping on the surface. But, what awaits us when we go a little deeper?
Fraud, cyberbullying, and data thieves, to name a few. As a result, your personal information exchanged with your favorite shopping site or payment card information saved in your Netflix account cannot be considered completely safe.
Millions of emails are being sent throughout the world to carry out phishing attacks and transmit viruses to people who click on the erroneous link.
So, we crafted the content for you on what is VPN, why we should use it, and the top VPN services review to ensure security and privacy; and offer many more options when browsing.
What is a VPN?
Virtual Private Network (VPN) conceals your internet connection by routing it via many encrypted networks, making you appear in a different place than you are, making you anonymous and difficult to track. VPNs hide your IP address, making it impossible for your ISP or third-party services to track your online activities.
Even if the internet is down, VPN companies will keep your information private. Your existing Internet service provider has the ability to both track and documents your data. The websites you browse and the applications you use to conduct transactions while accessing your information. You can protect your information from being exposed by utilizing a VPN.
VPNs are commonly used to overcome censorship geographic-based restrictions, download a broad range of content, shift locations, and remain anonymous online. Yes, VPN technology achieves these results because it establishes additional secure network channels for users, allowing access to the functions mentioned above.
Even though we all use VPNs for various reasons, there are some general rules to follow when selecting a VPN, whether your goal is to bypass geographic limitations or establish a secure connection to your corporate PC while working remotely.
How do VPNs keep your data safe?
VPN technology employs a variety of encryption methods. IP security (IPsec), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)/IPsec, and Transport Layer Security are the most well-known (TLS).
This approach masks your IP address and continually changes your IP address as well as your location, making your identity and location difficult to identify by third parties such as law enforcement and other agencies.
When posting orders, bank statements, stock purchases, company addresses, and school records, one of these security steps is to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). Because VPNs provide fully encrypted gateways for you and allow you to browse the internet while hiding you and your data behind these hidden tunnels.
Best VPN Services for 2022
StrongVPN provides a more straightforward solution that concentrates on the essentials. StrongVPN is quite simple to use, and the speeds are dependable and sufficient for most customers. If you are new to virtual private networks (VPNs), StrongVPN is a smart alternative.
- There are applications for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV and a Chrome browser extension and router setup manuals, to name a few examples of what is available.
- It supports L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and now WireGuard protocols, and it offers 24/7 customer assistance through email and live chat and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- SmartDNS technology to assist in unblocking streaming services and the ability to connect up to 12 devices at the same time.
- The company claims that they do not monitor or keep any information about you while connected to our VPN service. The only personally identifiable information they gather from users is required for account setup.
StrongVPN’s yearly plan costs $3.66 per month for the first year, with a two-year renewal option. After that, the second-year plan will cost $79.99 each year. The monthly plan, on the other hand, costs $10.99.
7. Proton VPN
ProtonVPN’s network currently has 1,300 servers in 61 countries, according to the company. The majority of servers are located in Europe and North America, as is the case with the majority of the competitors.
- As with its servers, ProtonVPN owns and controls them as well, and they are all connected to the internet through the company’s network.
- ProtonVPN’s Secure Core, a sophisticated technology that sends traffic via numerous servers before it exits the network, demonstrates the benefits of having that level of control in action.
- In addition to being P2P-friendly, the service supports up to ten devices (as opposed to the industry norm of five) features a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and built-in Tor compatibility for accessing Onion sites.
ProtonVPN now has native applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS, making it possible to use the service on practically any device.
Basic, Plus, and Visionary membership tiers are available from ProtonVPN, each with its own price. There is a free version accessible and subscription alternative starting at $3.29 a month, which is the most basic plan offered. The Basic subscription does not grant you access to the premium servers, does not allow you to stream Netflix, does not allow you to route traffic through several servers, and only allows you to connect up to two devices.
IPVanish VPN is a decent value for money, and it has a large number of server locations available. However, when compared to some of the more well-known VPN servers, it is lacking in terms of additional capabilities.
- It employs industry-standard encryption to provide maximum security.
- You may connect your laptop, iPhone, iPad, router, and other devices simultaneously since there are no limits on the number of simultaneous connections.
- The download speed is excellent. It doesn’t have a significant impact on your internet speed.
- The validity of the “Zero Log Policy” is under issue. The firm was exposed because it shared logs with a law enforcement agency conducting a criminal investigation.
- Due to the fact that IPVanish is located in the United States, they are under the authority of the Five Eyes.
- Some VPNs promise to prevent advertisements at the network level; however, IPVanish does not make such a statement. That’s not a big deal because people can use an ad blocker that is standalone.
The IPVanish yearly plan costs $44.99 today for the first-year subscription. It is equal to $3.75 per month. After the first year, though, the yearly plan will cost $89.99.
5. Norton Secure VPN
Norton Secure VPN is user-friendly and provides decent security, speeds, and functionality. Norton includes security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch feature, and industry-standard security protocols. Monthly and annual subscriptions for 1, 5, and 10 devices are available from Norton Secure VPN (each plan includes the same features).
- Norton Secure VPN is backed by a well-known security brand, making it less risky than a new and unknown company.
- Both local and overseas servers have sluggish speeds. Norton Secure VPN was unable to offer me adequate streaming or gaming speeds.
- The Norton VPN employs some of the industry’s most advanced encryption techniques, and its connections are really safe and ensures personal data security.
- Norton Secure gathers seven different sorts of data and is based in the United States, so you aren’t completely anonymous.
- Norton Secure VPN does not enable peer-to-peer (P2P) transmission, and the fact that Norton Secure VPN collects user IP addresses may be discouraging. It also doesn’t operate in some restricted countries, limiting the VPN unblocking feature for several streaming services.
Annual rates for Norton Secure VPN start at $24.99 for one device, $39.99 for five devices, and $59.99 for ten devices.
CyberGhost offers a massive server network; with 34400 servers, Private Internet Access (PIA) is the only other provider that comes close. As a result, CyberGhost is an excellent VPN to use if you need to connect to a certain area. You have a better chance of connecting to a fast server in your selected country when more servers are accessible.
- Advanced encryption, an automated kill switch, split tunneling, leak prevention, and an ad blocker are among the features included.
- The industry standard OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, as well as the newest WireGuard protocol, are all available with CyberGhost.
- Native applications are available for Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and more. You may also get free Chrome and Firefox browser extensions.
- One of CyberGhost’s most distinctive features is its NoSpy servers. This is a set of extremely secure servers housed at the company’s Romanian headquarters, all of which are controlled and operated solely by internal workers.
- WiFi Protection enables CyberGhost to start automatically on specified WiFi networks, such as unprotected public WiFi sources.
- CyberGhost isn’t available in China, and many users have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of consistency across its desktop and mobile versions.
The monthly offer is the most expensive plan at $12.99, but it drops to $2.15 with a three-year plan that includes three months free, and it drops to $3.15 and $3.95 with the two-year and one-year plans, respectively.
- The multi-hop feature establishes a VPN connection with a server then redirects your traffic through a second VPN server for further protection.
- Surfshark comes with several privacy options in addition to VPN protection: Smart DNS is a custom DNS service; CleanWeb is an ad-blocker, and Surfshark Alert notifies you if your accounts have been hacked.
- Access to Tor over VPN, which is available through NordVPN, is one of the few features Surfshark presently lacks.
- Private, static IP addresses are provided by NordVPN and others, which might be handy if your VPN connection is restricted. This VPN service does not come with dedicated and private IP addresses.
Surfshark, like many other VPNs, rewards long-term commitments with hefty savings. Surfshark, unlike most other VPNs, does not require an annual membership. Instead, it offers monthly contracts for $12.95/mo, half-year plans for $6.49/mo, and two-year plans for $2.49/mo.
2. Express VPN
ExpressVPN is available for all major platforms, including PCs, mobile devices, and browser extensions, as well as a router software that protects all devices linked to your router.
The software operates largely in this little window in the center of your desktop and has a very minimal user interface. A large power button is visible, making it simple to connect and modify the server’s location.
- In terms of security, ExpressVPN employs AES 256-bit encryption, which is equivalent to the government’s.
- ExpressVPN’s trusted server functionality goes even further, ensuring that no data is ever written to a server’s hard disk. This implies that your data is never saved on a server in terms of protocols.
- ExpressVPN’s customer care is helpful, and their live chat assistance, which is available 24 hours a day, is simple to use and really useful.
- They provide many valuable materials on their website in the shape of articles and high-quality, easy-to-follow training videos.
The most popular plan includes fast speeds, security intelligence, superlative ease-of-use, 24/7 customer support, and even free cloud backup. The annual package costs $6.67 with three months free, while the monthly plan is $12.95 with a 30-day risk-free trial.
NordVPN has all the security features you’d expect from a quality VPN service. In terms of encryption, your data is safeguarded by the world’s most trusted security encryption, AES 256-bit encryption. It also supports various VPN protocols, including the well-known OpenVPN and NordLynx, the company’s unique WireGuard-based protocol.
Protection against DNS leaks
Essentially, this function protects you against data breaches by ensuring that DNS requests are routed through the company’s servers rather than your ISP.
Tor Over VPN
It allows you to tunnel your browser traffic via both a VPN server and the Onion network at the same time.
The firm has a rigorous no-logging policy, which means it doesn’t keep or track any information about your internet actions.
Vast Number of Servers Across World
The organization still has an impressive server count of 5250 servers spread over 59 countries. This setting ensures that the page loads quickly no matter where you connect.
Nord VPN’s Distinctive Features
- Split tunneling is a relatively recent feature. You may use this functionality to select which applications the VPN connection should cover.
- Double VPN does exactly what it promises. It encrypts your internet connection and sends it via two VPN servers for further security. While it may appear to be a basic function, it is rarely encountered, even among the best providers.
- Monitoring the dark web is a relatively new feature. It searches the dark web for any information related to your email address that may have been leaked. If such information is discovered, you will be notified so that you can take prompt remedial action.
- CyberSec is essentially an ad-blocking function with some virus protection built-in. This function protects you from phishing scams, malware, unwanted adverts, and other security dangers.
- Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, and YouTube are just a few of the streaming services that the provider may simply unblock abroad.
The two-year plan costs $3.29 per month and is paid in advance. On the other hand, the monthly plan is more costly, costing $10.59 each month. Every package also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try out the service before committing.
Identifying why you need a VPN and which characteristics are essential will be quite helpful for selecting the ideal one. If you don’t have time to go through the hundreds of VPNs available, our picks are compatible with the majority of devices, have servers in thousands of locations, have excellent payment options and customer care, and all come with a money-back guarantee.
When you’ve narrowed down your options, whether based on pricing or security features, you can utilize the trial time to observe how they perform in real life and make an educated selection.